Christopher Ferrarone, MBA 2004
Carroll School of Management
Rule #1 of Personal Physicians HealthCare:
The Patient Is Always Right
It was 2:37 p.m. The patient in the doctor's waiting room was watching the top stories on CNN Headline News for the fourth time. The volume on the small television kept wavering in and out between bursts of static, making it nearly impossible to hear anything anyway. What about that 1:30 meeting he was supposed to be at right now? Well, he’d canceled it at 1:45. What about that email that he had promised his boss would be sent out by 2:00 "no matter what"? This too would have to wait.
Most galling, he had followed the receptionist's instructions to the letter. The computerized voicemail a few days ago had requested he arrive fifteen minutes early for his 12:30 appointment. He had actually checked in at 12:10, hoping to be seen early and be finished by 1:00 at the latest. That would have enabled him to get back to his office in plenty of time for the meeting.
Instead, he had been forced to wait more than two hours, and this wasn't even the emergency room. "There have been a couple of urgent cases, and we're running behind today," the receptionist had calmly explained, assuring him that the doctor would treat him "as soon as she can." "Please be patient, Sir," she added, as she whipped herself around to answer the phone.
“Patient? What do these people know about patience? If my accountant were two hours late to each of his appointments," he muttered under his breath, "he wouldn't keep any of his clients, even during tax season!"
Finally, at 3:01: "The doctor will see you now." Seventeen minutes later he was back on the road, his sole souvenir of the visit being a hastily written prescription for some medicine he had never heard of. His primary care physician was as nice as always, but had seemed particularly rushed today. In addition, the majority of the consultation had been spent
Cited: Christine Wiebe, "Boutique Doctors Cater to Patients ' Needs," Medscape Money & Medicine (accessed October 2003). Julie Fields, "Entrepreneur Profiles," in New York, Robin J. Phillips, ed. McGraw Hill Companies May 9, 2001.